Maths Curriculum Overview
At St Joseph’s, it is our intent that children will learn through a mastery approach, which is deep, sustainable and achievable for all. They will have fluent knowledge and understanding of the number system with the ability to rapidly recall number facts, in addition to performing written and mental calculations efficiently. They will develop factual, conceptual and procedural fluency through a concrete, pictorial and abstract approach. Through a broad range of skills in applying mathematics, they will solve real life problems and reason about mathematical concepts and make connections. When faced with challenges in new and unusual contexts, children will think independently and persevere, showing confidence in success.
At St Joseph’s, we strive to teach children to become competent mathematicians by adopting a mastery approach. Underpinning this pedagogy is the belief that all children can achieve in maths. We believe in promoting sustained and deepened understanding by employing a variety of mastery strategies, with teaching for conceptual understanding at the heart of everything we do.
We aim to create independent mathematicians who are well equipped to apply their learning to the wider world. Teaching for mastery ensures all children have full access to the curriculum, enabling them to achieve confidence and competence in mathematics.
White Rose Maths
As part of our maths curriculum, we follow the White Rose Maths schemes of learning, based on ‘small steps’ progression and yearly frameworks, which provide the foundation for secure learning, deep understanding and mastery in mathematics.
Inspired by the work of global maths experts, White Rose Maths is a transformational approach to maths teaching. It focuses on reinforcing number competency, whilst providing opportunities to build reasoning and problem solving into each lesson and encourages each pupil to build confidence and resilience to achieve in maths.
Its inclusive approach is based on the use of concrete objects (e.g. counters, cubes, coloured rods), pictorial representations and abstract methods to help pupils develop a secure, long-lasting and adaptable understanding of mathematics.
Teaching for maths mastery allows us to teach the National Curriculum to a high standard. The National Curriculum for maths is broken down into longer blocks of learning which allow full coverage and depth of content. Each block of learning contains smaller steps which are taught through whole-class interactive teaching, where the focus is on all pupils working together on the same lesson content at the same time. This ensures all can master the curriculum’s content before moving to the next part of the sequence, allowing no pupil to be left behind. Lesson plans identify the new mathematics taught from the National Curriculum and a carefully sequenced journey is produced by teachers.
Procedural fluency is a critical component of mathematical proficiency and is prioritised throughout the curriculum. Procedural fluency is the ability to apply procedures accurately, efficiently, and flexibly; to transfer procedures to different problems and contexts; to build or modify procedures from other procedures; and to recognise when one strategy or procedure is more appropriate to apply than another. Procedural fluency and conceptual understanding (comprehension of mathematical concepts, operations, and relations) are developed in tandem because each supports the development of the other.
Teachers also ensure children learn key facts such as multiplication tables and addition facts with automaticity to avoid cognitive overload and enable pupils to focus on new concepts. Pupils need to be automatic with their basic facts to solve the more complex problems they are faced with. Expending all their brain power to solve a fact, such as 15 – 7, in the middle of a word problem, for example, can cause them to lose track of their thinking. Mathematics Mastery places emphasis on the cumulative mastery of essential knowledge and skills in mathematics. It embeds a deeper understanding of maths by utilising concrete, pictorial, abstract approach so that pupils understand what they are doing rather than just learning to repeat routines without grasping what is happening.
Schemes of Learning
Becoming fluent in the fundamentals of mathematics, including through varied and frequent practice with increasingly complex problems over time, ensures that that pupils develop conceptual understanding and the ability to recall and apply knowledge rapidly and accurately. At St Joseph’s fluency is developed through the use of flashback questions; children complete 5 daily arithmetic questions in 5 minutes, with immediate feedback given from their teacher. In KS1, Numbots is used to engage children in the early stages of addition and subtraction. Rapid recall of times tables, including multiplication and division facts, is developed during timetabled sessions in addition to the daily maths lesson. In addition to this, children in Key Stage 2 have access to Times Tables Rockstars, an online resource that provides children with engaging activities to learn their tables whilst reducing the time it takes to answer multiplication and division questions.
At St Joseph’s, children reason mathematically by accessing appropriately pitched maths content every lesson, so that they can think logically in order to arrive at solutions or sometimes find multiple solutions. Children will be able to identify what is important and unimportant in solving a problem, follow a line of enquiry, conjecture relationships and generalisations, and develop an argument, giving justification or proof using mathematical language to explain a solution.
At St Joseph’s, children solve mathematical problems by applying their knowledge and skills to a variety of routine and non-routine problems with increasing sophistication, including breaking down problems into a series of simpler steps and persevering in seeking solutions. In order to solve a problem, children will draw on one or more problem-solving skills, such as:
- Working systematically
- Trial and improvement
- Logical reasoning
- Spotting patterns
- Working backwards
As a result of our approach to teaching Maths:
- We have ambitious expectations for all pupils
- Gaps in learning are immediately addressed through same day intervention
- All pupils access rich mathematical content
- There is avoidance of grouping and labelling children
- Conceptual and procedural maths are taught together
- Children know more and remember more
To view our progression of skills document please click here.